I�ve arrived late to my interview and I�m wracked with nerves. I hope I haven�t kept him waiting too long; I have no desire to get on the bad side of one of Rugby League�s future stars. Oh, but this is no up and coming player I�m meeting with today, and the manner of our engagement is, well, a little unconventional. With a flash of blue reminding me of my overflowing inbox, and the opening of the bothersome msn today (I really must switch that feature off) I find myself signed into my instant messenger. That�s right, this interview is happening online; the subject, Daniel, aka Roosterboy. He may not have the looks and vision of Tim Smith or be able to boast he�s a relation of Thierry Henry (the forummer, not the footballer), as Sonny Bill Williams proudly can, and by his own admission his athleticism rates as �sub-par�, but when it comes to commentating, this kid has all the skills.
A conversation window appears before my eyes with the simple greeting �Hi�. I immediately know it�s Daniel. He�s not one to waste words, save on the mic, dropping rhymes (and the odd observation on the game taking place) like nobody�s business. At this moment I�m feeling mighty over-awed, with good reason. This is a guy who, in his early teens, took a bold step as a pioneer of internet radio, and dared to challenge the establishment with his upbeat approach to Rugby League calling. From humble roots, his various league-themed shows now boast audiences in the thousands*. You better believe the big guns of commentary have taken notice, and rumour has it they�re afraid.
Back to the present, and I�m struggling here. I try an ice-breaker. �Umm�� I type tentatively, then �I�m wearing a pink polo shirt right now, does that bother you?�
It doesn�t, but it�s not his thing. Calmed, I launch into the interview.
Weasel: First things first, Daniel� RB: Roosterboy. Weasel: Sorry. Roosterboy. How did you first become interested in commentating? RB: I�ve grown up admiring radio callers, like Ray Hadley and John Laws, and on tv, Rabs [Ray Warren] is just inspirational. His voice is infectious, mesmerising� Weasel: Ok� do you support a team or do you try and remain impartial? RB: The Roosters. Weasel: Oh. It must be hard for you at the moment, putting on a brave face in the commentary box while they continue to struggle. At your age you wouldn�t be able to recall a Roosters side doing worse. RB: Yes, I�m aware of that. Time will tell though, but I will always love them regardless. Weasel: Fav player? RB: All-time, it has to be Freddy [Brad Fittler]. Wonderful skills; did so much for the club. He deserved it in 2002. I don�t think I�ll ever lose the memories of that night. Current players: Craig Wing, and from elsewhere, Matt Cooper. Weasel: Yes, both very good looking. What approach do you try and bring to commentating? RB: A positive one. Weasel: Inspirational. Now, one of your more popular shows is F7�s radio; you aired a controversial interview on last week�s episode, with famed F7�s player, Half. At various times it sounded like you were losing control of the interview, but Half had this to say about you afterwards:
�Roosterboy60 is a great kid with a positive attitude towards commentary and life.�
Do you wish to respond to these comments? RB: He�s a good bloke, mate. Weasel: True. On to other things, I hear you�re a fan of Big Brother? RB: Yes. Weasel: So, do you have a favourite housemate? RB: I like Christie. And Tim, he�s the smart one. Least favourite would probably be Glenn. Weasel: Roosterboy, it�s been lovely to speak to you, but before we go, your tips for this weekend? RB: I wouldn�t be surprised if Geneva went. Weasel: � in the football? RB: Go the Roosters!! Weasel: Yes, go the roosters, indeed. And, thank you.
I sign out without allowing him a reply, avoiding telling him I�m backing the Eels, then take a minute to catch my breath. I�m left with the feeling of having encountered someone unique, and I hope that those who read this can get a sense of his many qualities from these words that we�ve shared. You might just call it a hunch at this moment, but I have a feeling that it won�t be long before we all know this kid�s name. Roosterboy.
*figures unconfirmed at time of posting
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